7 April

Pick a Day

7 APRIL

In Music History

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2015 Don McLean's original manuscript to his lyric for "American Pie" sells at auction for $1.2 million. Says McLean: "I thought it would be interesting as I reach age 70 to release this work product on the song 'American Pie' so that anyone who might be interested will learn that this song was not a parlor game."

2014 25-year-old Peaches Geldof, daughter of the Live Aid mastermind Bob Geldof, is found dead in Kent, England, after overdosing on heroin. Her mother, Paula Yates, died in 2000 when Peaches was 11.

2013 Andy Johns (engineer for Led Zeppelin, Television, and The Rolling Stones) dies at age 62 of complications from a stomach ulcer.

2008 The newly reunited Stone Temple Pilots announce a 65-date reunion tour and play for the first time since 2002.

1999 Shania Twain's third album Come On Over is certified Diamond (10 million in sales) by the RIAA, making her the first female artist with back-to-back Diamond albums; her second album, The Woman in Me, was certified in 1997.

1998 Drummer Carlos Vega (James Taylor's band) dies at age 41 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound the day before he is scheduled to appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show alongside James Taylor.

1987 Whitesnake slides into hair metal with their seventh, self-titled album. It's by far their most successful, with the MTV hits "Here I Go Again" and "Is This Love?"

1987 Jazz singer Maxine Sullivan, known for her 1937 swing version of "Loch Lomond," dies after suffering a seizure at age 75 in New York City.

1984 New British Invasion: 40 of the artists on the US Top 100 singles chart are Brits - a new record.

1981 Rick James releases Street Songs.

1979 Rickie Lee Jones is the musical guest on Saturday Night Live. She performs her hit "Chuck E.'s In Love" and does a full-beatnik rendition of "Coolsville," complete with cigarette and beret.

1975 After a show in Paris, Ritchie Blackmore leaves Deep Purple to form Rainbow. He is eventually replaced by Tommy Bolin.

1970 B.J. Thomas wins the Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" from the 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The song was written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach, and hit #1 on the US charts.

1968 At the Generation Club in New York, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, B.B. King, Richie Havens and Buddy Guy take the stage for a jam session in tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr., who was killed three days earlier.

1968 Three days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Nina Simone performs "Why? (The King of Love Is Dead)" at the Westbury Music Fair in Long Island, New York, in his honor. The song was written by her bassist, Gene Taylor, less than 24 hours earlier.

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George Michael Arrested For Lewd Conduct

1998

George Michael is arrested for disorderly conduct at a park restroom in Beverly Hills, California, after an undercover officer observes him performing a "lewd act." Michael comes out as gay soon after.


Michael's arrest is part of a routine check of the bathrooms at Will Rogers Memorial Park in the upscale area across from the Beverly Hills Hotel. Details aren't made public, he is arrested by a plainclothes officer who says Michael was "aware he was being observed" and performed the act in an area of the restroom visible to anyone who entered. He is fined $810 and sentenced to 80 hours of community service.

Sex is an open topic for Michael, who made it the subject of one of his most famous songs, but his sexuality isn't. Most in the industry know he's gay, and he was often seen with his Brazilian lover Anselmo Feleppa, who died in 1993, but it's a topic he won't entertain. "I don't believe in people making public statements about their sexuality," he told The Big Issue in 1996. "It would never even occur to me that I would want to clarify my sexuality."

Three days after the arrest, Michael comes out in an interview with CNN. He doesn't provide details of the incident, but says, "I put myself in an extremely stupid and vulnerable position."

Michael's next release is a song called "Outside." In the video, he makes fun of the incident, appearing in a LAPD uniform and showing scenes of a mens' bathroom and men kissing. The arresting officer, Marcelo Rodriguez, files a $10 million lawsuit (later dismissed) against Michael, claiming mental and emotional distress.

In 2002, he tells BBC Radio 1 that he was distraught over the deaths of his mother and Feleppa, and by getting himself arrested, it may have been his way of bringing his sexuality into the open. "With hindsight, I did it to myself and I tried to work out why," he says. "It was a way of making my life about me."

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